BOSTON (CBS) — The New England Patriots head to Miami for a Week 14 clash with the Dolphins, a yearly visit that usually ends in a loss for the Patriots.
No one can really explain why their trip to South Beach is such a disappointing one for Tom Brady and company, who have lost four of their last five down in Miami. But it’s been a constant throughout the quarterback’s career, one of the few places that makes Brady seem more human than GOAT.
Will that trend continue this weekend? The WBZ-TV and CBS Boston sports teams make their predictions for Sunday’s potential division-clincher for the Pats:
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV
The Patriots know exactly what’s at stake Sunday afternoon in Miami. It’s a “hat and t-shirt game.”
With a win, the Patriots would clinch their 10th straight AFC East title. That, right there, is crazy.
But the team leaders will make sure this team knows they have to be ready to play. The Patriots are getting healthier and hungrier, which is why they should beat the Dolphins. But in Miami, you just never know. The Patriots have lost four of their last five games there.
Patriots 28, Dolphins 17
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV
Yes, I know Tom Brady is 7-9 lifetime against the Dolphins down in Miami. And yes, I know Brady has lost four of his last five games down in South Beach territory. And yes, I know Tom Brady has thrown only four touchdowns while getting picked three times and sacked nine times in those four losses.
However, Brady and the Pats are well equipped this time around with numerous weapons on offense and an ever-improving defense. The Pats are simply the much better team.
Patriots 30, Dolphins 20
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV
This is the annual trip that the Pats make to Miami, a trip that usually ends with them coming home with a loss. There is no rhyme or reason for it, but they lose in South Beach.
This time though, I think they win. Every stat you look at has New England as a better team, so we can stay away from that. But this week, all the players have acknowledged their misfortunes in Miami. In fact Duron Harmon said as much in our air right after the win against the Vikings.
They have to condition themselves to survive in the elements; the heat and humidity. Expect a running and hydrated group.
Patriots 24, Dolphins 14
Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
When you try to predict sports outcomes, you can’t rely on things like flukes. You can’t just go with “Well the Patriots always seem to face-plant in Miami, so they’ll have to do that again, I guess” as your reasoning. That goes against all logic, and we humans are logical beings.
Plus, I think a great differentiator this time around is that the Patriots’ defense is playing really well right now. That’s the same Patriots defense that held the Dolphins scoreless for the first 57:18 during their Week 4 meeting.
So even if Tom Brady has an uncharacteristically poor day (frankly, though, he’s overdue for a vintage Brady performance), the defense should be able to keep the NFL’s 25th-ranked scoring offense at bay for the bulk of this one.
Patriots 20, Dolphins 10
Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
A trip to Miami is usually Tom Brady’s kryptonite, and no one really knows why. A decade ago it was because Jason Taylor was usually sending him to the turf on numerous occasions, and Miami’s secondary was actually pretty darn good.
But this weekend, the Dolphins may have actual dolphins playing cornerback. Xavien Howard isn’t expected to play, which means the NFL’s interceptions leader will not be on the field. That should make for an easier day on Brady and his receivers.
It’s not going to be a walk in the park, because it never is when the Patriots are in Miami. But they’ll be showing off some new hats and t-shirts on Sunday afternoon.
Patriots 24, Dolphins 13
Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Dolphins tilt on WBZ-TV — the home of the New England Patriots. Coverage begins Friday night at 7pm with Patriots All Access, and we get you ready for the game Sunday morning with Patriots GameDay at 11:30 a.m. And stick with WBZ-TV after the game as we wrap it all up on Patriots 5th Quarter!